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These are various house, car, and bike projects i've done. And more!

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Fixing a bad turn signal switch

Posted on April 30, 2020

The work on small projects continues, most of which don't need much of a writeup: fixed horns (had the steering rack ground in the wrong place), replaced the driver side window regulator (much easier than expected, partially thanks to using velcro for the inner panel), front-end alignment (string method, tedious), and now, the turn signal that wouldn't cancel.

When i got the car, the turn signal was working, but the plastic end of the lever had broken off. I got a replacement (can't remember the supplier), and it worked fine for a couple of years until the switch stopped cancelling last year.

In the interest of chasing down little annoyances, i opened up the switch and found this:

Broken turn switch

The flat wedge-shaped piece should have a twin on the right side, with a spring in between. Happily, since this sits inside of the steering column, i was able to retrieve all of the parts with a small magnet, including the very small spring.

Here's the problem: those pieces were installed with a small spiral rivet (drive screw) into the plastic body, and they didn't hold. I don't have the original switch to compare, but looking at some other online sources, this seems like a standard construction with replacement switches. Fortunately, if you haven't lost the parts, it's an easy fix. One of the original screws is on the left:

turn switch fasteners

I replaced both fasteners with small machine screws salvaged from a disassembled hard drive (on the right above). The plastic switch body isn't threaded, but the fit is tight enough to make threads and hold tight without cracking it.

Here's the fixed and reinstalled switch, turning on and cancelling correctly. 

Fixed turn switch

This was a free fix, just the time to dig up the right size screws from the spare parts bins.